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How does the community feel about questions like this that aren't tips on golfing, but are still about a golfing language.

Should such questions be incorporated into what's on topic here? Would this be useful to our site?

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    \$\begingroup\$ The SO approach is that any questions that are aimed at directing someone to an outside resource are off topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Jun 22 '15 at 21:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another example of non-golfing tip question. \$\endgroup\$ – jimmy23013 Jun 22 '15 at 21:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jimmy23013: I definitely think that one is off topic here. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Jun 22 '15 at 21:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ The title assumes that tips is exclusivelly for tips on golfing. \$\endgroup\$ – Ismael Miguel Jun 26 '15 at 16:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @IsmaelMiguel yes, the title reflects my understanding at the time I wrote it. I've since realised that the tips tag wiki excerpt does not restrict to tips on golfing, although the full tag wiki does not sound so inclusive, so a decision needs to be made there. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 26 '15 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Since the answers to this question seem to be answering different questions (should the particular question be on topic/should open ended "how do I learn" questions be on topic/should specific questions during learning be on topic) I think several new meta questions may be required. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 26 '15 at 16:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question as it stands makes it very hard to guess what it is that the community is voting on, and I don't feel that editing the question is going to improve that with 3 existing answers. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 26 '15 at 16:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @trichoplax I think you are right. Editing it won't help much. But also, notice that all questions about tips for non-golfing tips are almost automatically classified as off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Ismael Miguel Jun 26 '15 at 16:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, there is an assumption that non golfing tips are off topic, even though a scattering of votes on comments throughout this question suggests there is call for other types of tips in some form, as yet undecided. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 26 '15 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @trichoplax, why are you making up so many meta questions the last days? I find most of them annoying, and not useful at all... \$\endgroup\$ – Rolf ツ Jun 30 '15 at 17:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rolfツ if you can let me know each specific objection I can work to avoid them. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 30 '15 at 17:36
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Should such questions be incorporated into what's on topic here? Yes

Would this be useful to our site? YES a lot

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No, such questions should be closed as off topic

On Stack Overflow, any question asking to be pointed to outside resources like tutorials is considered off topic. If such a question were on topic, it would be too broad and/or opinion based.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree that asking purely for outside links should be off topic, so perhaps the question as it stands should be closed. However, I'm still in favour of more specific questions about learning a golfing language. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 22 '15 at 21:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 from me (can't vote). I think that the language-specific tag wikis, though this isn't their true purpose, could include a brief sentence with a link about where to get started with the language. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Jun 22 '15 at 21:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlexA. while I'm inclined to agree with you about these questions being off topic, I don't think putting something in the tag wikis will help, as nobody reads those. \$\endgroup\$ – FryAmTheEggman Jun 22 '15 at 21:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FryAmTheEggman: I agree, but at least there would be somewhere we could point people to. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Jun 22 '15 at 21:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ Voting this one up because these types of questions don't really fit the Q&A format (well, okay, neither do our challenge-solution type questions, but these are closer to "conventional"-type questions and hence should probably follow the same types of rules). This type of question is both too broad and primarily opinion based, and smacks of being a "big-list" type question (which are generally off-topic network-wide). \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Jun 22 '15 at 21:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ (On the other hand, it is possible that these types of questions would be so immensely useful that the benefits of keeping them outweighs these disadvantages. Off the top of my head, Mathematics is one site that explicitly allows list-type questions because they're so useful. I've refrained from voting on edc65's answer because that's also an important factor to take into consideration.) \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Jun 22 '15 at 21:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AlexA. That sounds like it would fit better in the language tag wikis, as you mentioned earlier. \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Jun 22 '15 at 21:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with this. If questions about making code faster (with the purpose of using those tips in challenges here), tips to learn a new language are off-topic. \$\endgroup\$ – Ismael Miguel Jun 23 '15 at 9:41
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No, tips for learning a language shouldn't be allowed

There are a couple of problems with allowing this:

  1. What is a golfing language? We've had trouble defining this in the past, and if we don't define it now, then I could ask for tips for any language.

  2. There's really only three "tips" that could be given out, and none of them are good:

    1. A basic tutorial on the language and its syntax
    2. Links pointing to tutorials on the language
    3. Random varied "language features" that the basic programmer doesn't know. If this helps somebody golf, then it belongs in the Golfing tips
  3. Finally, the site is about golfing and programming challenges. Answers to any tips question must be focused on the topic of our site. If we wanted to have a tips question focused on writing good KoTH bots, that would be in scope (in my opinion).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ -1 for tips on writing KotH bots being on topic. Those questions would be opinion based, broad, and very specific to each KotH challenge. Otherwise I agree with the rest of what you said. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Jun 28 '15 at 22:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AlexA. I don't think so. For example, across many KoTHs, it is often a good strategy to identify/guess your opponent's strategy, and then counter it. Strategies/tips like these would make a good post, IMO. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Merrill Jun 28 '15 at 23:18
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Yes, questions about how to pick up a golfing language should be on topic.

They should have a new tag instead of which should be reserved for golfing tips rather than learning tips. As Alex A points out, questions still need to be specific, so they would need to be along the lines of "What does this command do in GolfLangX?" or "How can I perform CommonFunctionQ in this golfing language?", rather than just "How do I learn Golfify_Y?"

Depending on the outcome of this question we may need another meta question about what to call the new tag (and whether to make the existing tips tag more specific).


Since Doorknob commented with a link to the tips tag wiki I can see that tips questions can be about programming challenges in general, not just tips on golfing, so we might not need a new tag if we decide to allow tips on using a language. However, note that the tag wiki excerpt (linked above) and the full tag wiki that is linked from it, do not agree on this.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ To address your most recent edit, wouldn't that effectively make us Stack Overflow for golfing languages? \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Jun 22 '15 at 21:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes. Yes it would. If that's a bad thing, people can vote to say so. I'd like to see this, but only if the majority of the community are happy with it. \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 22 '15 at 21:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm confused. You say that "Best place for learning GolfScript" should be on-topic, yet later you say that "they would need to be along the lines of "What does this command do in GolfLangX?" or "How can I perform CommonFunctionQ in this golfing language?", rather than just "How do I learn Golfify_Y?" That sounds like almost the exact same thing as our existing tips questions, and contradicts your original question. \$\endgroup\$ – Doorknob Jun 22 '15 at 21:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ We could always make tags for golfing languages on Stack Overflow, direct folks to SO, then answer there. They're really more SO-like questions. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Jun 22 '15 at 21:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think "what's a place to learn GolfScript" is specific and actionable, and the poster has already shown that they've tried to find the info on their own. I don't see why questions on learning a golfing language need to be narrow. Sometimes you just need a general pointer. Surely it's better to "teach a man to fish". \$\endgroup\$ – xnor Jun 22 '15 at 21:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Doorknob I see tips questions as only allowing tips on reducing code size, rather than tips on how the language works in general. If that's not the case then we don't need a new tag and learners can ask how things work in tips questions. (Having written this, I've followed the link you posted and the tips tag wiki does include programming challenges in general, not just golfing, so maybe I should have read that first...). Thanks :) \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 22 '15 at 21:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlexA. if SO will accept them, I'd love to see completely unreadable code posted there with "I've tried the following steps to find out why my golfed code won't run. What am I missing?". Maybe they'd let us if we agree to answer them promptly. You should negotiate... \$\endgroup\$ – trichoplax Jun 22 '15 at 21:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, after all, SO does have an APL tag, so there's at least some legitimate but unreadable code there. ;) \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Jun 22 '15 at 21:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ I actually do think that we should create SO tags, close here, answer there. "How do I do X in language Y" is perfect for SO. Just because it's a golfing language doesn't mean it isn't a legitimate programming language. \$\endgroup\$ – Alex A. Jun 22 '15 at 21:51

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